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Enery saving

(48 Posts)
carboncareful Wed 08-Jun-11 19:15:03

I am sure that most of you try to save energy as you go about your daily lives. Some of you may be very enthusiastic about this as, of course, it saves money as well. What I would really like to know is what do people spend the money on that has been saved. That is the important question because if you spend it on a trip to Florida you should not be feeling smug.

crimson Thu 09-Jun-11 13:54:22

Energy saving, for me, is a way of counteracting inflation and lack of increase in my yearly budget; sort of running to stand still. Holidays with the 'extra' money would be difficult! And, whatever we save is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of energy countries like China must be using.

baggythecrust! Thu 09-Jun-11 14:12:29

So far we haven't noticed any saving because all the basic prices of the energy we use have gone up. If we did save anything we've spent it on firewood to keep warm in the last two very cold winters.

crimson Thu 09-Jun-11 14:42:02

And they're sneakily putting the prices up in summer so we don't notice. I'm in debit from last winter, and my monthly direct debit has doubled [gulp]. Everyone is buying log burners..good idea until we start to notice that the tree was planted in the front garden the other year has disappeared, and the New Forest has started to shrink [it was there last time I looked confused]......

greenmossgiel Thu 09-Jun-11 17:34:12

Is anyone changing their supplier because of the massive increases? I'm never sure whether just to stay with my current supplier or change to another one. They all seem to follow suit anyway, don't they?

crimson Thu 09-Jun-11 22:27:04

I switched to another energy supplier and then, a couple of years later thought I would go back as their price seemed better. Someone from that company phoned my when it was inconvenient; I asked them to call back later in the week. Unfortunately that time was also inconvenient, but they were quite unpleasant to me, saying that I had asked them to phone back. I'd also heard in the meantime that their holding company had had record profits but they were still about to increase their prices, so I told them this. The guy I spoke tried to make me feel as if I'd been wasting their time, and I got pretty upset. Someone from the same company knocked on my door the other day and, again, pointed out that I had said he could come back another time [this was months ago],trying [imo] to make me feel obliged to switch back to them. Wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience?

HildaW Sat 11-Jun-11 19:47:56

I dont see anything wrong in changing your supplier if someone else can offer a better deal....if you dont mind the fiddling about of course..(my husband seems to ejoy the challenge so I leave him to it). Joking apart, being a bit 'careful' with fuel and all non renuable resources seems to be a pretty sensible idea....we wont be here forever and its our Grandchildren who will have to cope with what little we have left. I do find that I am remembering the sorts of things my Grandma and Mum did (they were trained well by events of WW1 and 2). I also think that our cavalier attitude to water needs addressing. I can remember the look of horror on my Mum's face as she watched the hot soapy water from my new automatic washing machine go down the sink 30 odd years ago. Years of boilers and twin tubs that used one lot of water for the whole wash ment that she was disgusted by the waste.

baggythecrust! Sat 11-Jun-11 20:25:36

I had a twintub. Washed two kids' worth of nappies in it. It was a good machine and did the work but it had one big disadvantage — the time one had to spend hovering around it to haul the stuff out of the wash tub and into the rinsing/spinning tub. While I was using it and knew no different this didn't bother me but when I eventually got an automatic washing machine I was staggered at the amount of time I had as it were 'left over' in which to do other things. So I suppose I traded some hot water for some time.

harrigran Sat 11-Jun-11 23:28:41

I still think the twin tubs did a good job, the spinner was fast so that clothes dried quicker. I was married two and a half years before I got a washing machine, I had a baby by then and had been washing everything in the sink or bath. I was just so grateful to get a machine I did not care how long I had to stand over it.

baggythecrust! Sun 12-Jun-11 06:25:06

harrigran, it was the same for me, but I did notice the time I saved when I eventually up-graded. I expect you did too. Nice, huh? smile

jackyann Sun 12-Jun-11 08:37:38

Over on "thrifty tips" we've discussed the benefits of slow cookers & Remoskas.

On a larger scale - we are building our own house: as "green" as we can make it, but as always, life is not simple. For instance - do you get the most efficient insulation (with more carbon-capture in the manufacture) or stuff like sheeps' wool that is "greener" in manufacture, but less efficient?
Do you re-use grey water, which means electric pumps & double plumbing?
We looked at ground-source heat pumps 3 separate times, each time deciding that it was not worthwhile, then being persuaded by someone that we should look again. Finally - no. The Centre for Alternative Technology reckons that you should not generally use any heat-source pump with a co-efficient of less than 4, and the Energy Saving Trust reckons pumps are averaging at present less than 3 (whatever the manufacturers say). They will undoubtedly become more efficient soon, but we need to install it now.
We shall be having solar heated hot water, photo-voltaic cells, and a mechanical heat recovery unit; so the answer for the first 10 years or so is: paying off the cost of installation!

Elegran Sun 12-Jun-11 08:53:22

Crimson - that energy company sound like a lot of thugs. Sounds to me as though their "sales" tactics could have been reported to the office of fair trading. I hope you sent them away with a flea in their ear.

crimson Sun 12-Jun-11 10:19:35

Just googled said company and they seem to harrass their customers quite a lot [perhaps they are all the same?]. It's so complicated; even when you use a price comparison site you still need to know how much energy you have used and, with dual fuel billing and paying in debit/credit etc I never know where I am. I did say with my original supplier that I would never go back to them even if they were the cheapest on the planet [and told them so whenever they phoned me asking me to go back to them; offering me money to do so, and I would ask why they couldn't have offered me money to stay with them in the first place!] but changed my mind when someone told me that they really were the cheapest now. that's when the harrassment began and the attitidue of 'you told us to phone/visit you, you're wasting our time. When two people used the same approach I realised it was the way they operated. Same with car insurance; you have to change each year to bring the price down Iys so tiring/time consuming! Rant over. I did sent them away with a flea in their ear, but it was water off a ducks back to them, but left me really upset [I HATE being unpleasant to people].

Annobel Sun 12-Jun-11 10:59:15

What really annoys me is a representative from Scottish Power knocking on my door and telling me that it's a 'courtesy call'. It's nothing of the kind. It is a blatant sales tactic and I have asked them to stop these calls. In a way, I feel sorry for the young people who have these jobs, especially when they come up against consumers like me, but I can assure Scottish Power that even if they did turn out to be the cheapest supplier, I would be most reluctant to change to them.

greenmossgiel Sun 12-Jun-11 11:40:52

Me too, Annobel. A rep from Scottish Power called on me the other week. He didn't even look me in the eye, when 'introduced' himself. I said I was quite happy with the supplier I had (I'll wait and see about that now though), and he was very curt. I'm with Scottish Gas at the moment, so no doubt there'll be news of a big hike any day now.

Elegran Sun 12-Jun-11 13:51:46

Maybe if someone recorded the conversation and sent it to Watchdog, or someone similar, it might make a difference, particularly if you had been exquisitely polite yourself.

Sorry - forgot, you are supposed to tell people that you are recording "for training purposes" as they put it when THEY are recording YOU.

Perhaps that is the answer - answer the door with an gadget in your hand (mobile phone?) and say at the start "I am recording this visit for the purpose of complaining" and watch them hightail it down the street!

carboncareful Tue 14-Jun-11 18:14:13

I am disappointed to see that you have all got completely off the subject and do not seem to have got the gist of my original post. We are talking Climate Change here - and chit-chatting about washing machines will not save your grandchildren. To be honest I don't have much hope for the future of mankind/womankind/life on this planet but I intend to go down fighting. Please, gransnet grans lets have a serious discussion on how to reduce our personal carbon footprints. If we do not do this ourselves then we cannot expect the developing countries to consider their own carbon footprints can we? My original point is that some of the carbon reducing/energy saving things we do end up saving money we must not feel smug - we must make sure we do not spend the savings on energy consuming "things".

Annobel Tue 14-Jun-11 19:03:41

Sorry Carboncareful. I stand rebuked. I try to turn down the central heating and turn it off in rooms I'm not using. I have plenty of poly-fleece jumpers and fleece trousers to keep me warm. As the cost of energy is constantly increasing, I don't think I am saving money. In fact, I'm sure I'm not. But in any case, I am travelling by train instead of air when I go to France this summer, also using going by rail to visit the family instead of taking the car.
I recently had the loft insulation doubled, though it's too soon to tell how much this will save me.My point is, however, that whatever energy we save, what we do use is increasing in cost so fast that we are probably not saving any actual money.

baggythecrust! Tue 14-Jun-11 21:52:26

carboncareful you sound very cross. I really don't think you need to worry so much. A bit of scepticism about media alarmism with regard to the 'dangers' of climate change might do you the world of good. Climate has always changed and always will, whatever we feeble animals do. I can suggest some reading matter that helped put things into perspective for me, if you would be interested.

crimson Tue 14-Jun-11 22:46:43

I was in Greenpeace, recycling groups [before we had recycling bins/collections] etc etc years ago but now it's me thats trying to survive.

Valkyrie Tue 21-Jun-11 10:44:58

When I heat a kettle to make coffee for one, I keep the unused hot water in a vacuum flask. I should get a kettle that works more efficiently, one of those where you don't have to 'cover the heating element' but that would mean sending a perfectly good kettle to land fill and that's not good.
Wind turbines are a con. They are govenment subsidised; made largely overseas and don't produce enough electricity to either cover the cost of their manufacture or to balance out the use of raw materials and energy
used to make them.
Much the same applies to electric cars - the electricity is produced somewhere probably by burning fossil fuels.

A thought - if the planet warms enough, we won't need fuel to keep warm so will things eventually balance out wine

harrigran Tue 21-Jun-11 12:17:57

Well said Valkyrie, my thoughts exactly.

absentgrana Tue 21-Jun-11 13:32:34

Once someone has started a thread by stating their thoughts or asking a question, they cannot control where the conversation will lead. It is the nature of conversations – as opposed to formal debates – that people make random associations and spin off into other topics. That's what makes them interesting. Conversations are also not the places to preach, dictate, bully or chastise.

absentgrana Tue 21-Jun-11 13:37:31

Valkyrie The planet warming – if it does – does not guarantee warmer weather everywhere. If you live in Britain, it's likely to get very much colder all year round because the Gulf Stream, which warms this island above the temperatures expected at this latitude, is quite likely to divert its course. Therefore, even higher heating bills. Nothing is ever as it seems – except death, taxes and ever-increasing energy bills.

baggythecrust! Tue 21-Jun-11 13:50:10

Stuff I've read about the North Atlantic Oscillation (Gulf Stream) says it's doing fine and that the talk of its shutting down or being diverted is scaremongering.